Category Archives: Build Season Updates

Build Update- Day 32

Yesterday our team met at the field house to finish assembling parts and to test the robot. We finished assembling the intake and did work on the actuator. We also tested the drive train, which was successful. The coders were also busy at work at the field house yesterday getting the code ready for the robots.


Tonight the build team worked on the intake and mounting it to the practice robot. We also did some work on the bumpers.

CAD team experimented with the geometry of the forklift tonight.

After many months of work (and one of the team leads and captains crying a little bit), the Awards team submitted their Chairman’s executive summary and essay tonight.

Build Update- Day 28

Toady we spent most of our time continuing assembly of the practice robot. The main breaker was mounted to one of the elevator supports and our 2 gauge wire was routed to it, this means our robot is now capable of turning on. Addie finished wiring and managing the can wire, so the robot’s main electronics are essentially finished.

More work was also done on the elevator, Walter spent some time connecting a chain run from the motor to the elevator in order to drive the second stage up. Then a pulley was mounted to the top of the second stage and Kevlar rope was run through the pulley, connected to the third stage and a stable bar to create the cascading effect. Finally the constant force spring was mounted, and has presented some difficulties with attaching to the elevator, I would like to remind people to not touch this spring as it could snap and cut you, hands and fingers away at all times.

A group of people have started assembling the final robot gearboxes, which should be put in the final chassis soon. Final robot electronics have been prepped and we started to put them in the robot.

Build Update- Day 27

Our second meeting discussing climbing options was today. During the meeting, we narrowed down the ideal position of the climber to be at the back of the robot. Because of the width of the bumpers, climbing from the side of the robot would be very difficult. Climbing from the front of the robot would also be very difficult because the intake is in the way in both actuation positions. In addition, it was decided that climbing by taking up only half the distance on the bar was not worth it, as the bumpers already take up a majority of the space and it would only be beneficial if a significant number of teams were planning to do the same (which we know they aren’t from our pre-scouting information).

The forklift idea is lowest on our priority list due to the other more important subsystems that need to be developed and the difficulty of incorporating it into our robot design. Currently, ideas for climber hooks and ways to make it stronger are being explored. They will be tested once the elevator rigged up and working. Our small bearings for the elevator arrived today, so mounting of the elevator to the drivetrain began.

(WordPress won’t let me turn the photos upright, but if you turn your head 90 degrees it looks right)

Machining of the intake will begin soon once the CAD design is finished and drawings are made. Thank you to Bridgette for pre-scouting (stalking) the other teams we will be competing against at Duluth, to Mr. Langseth for spending a lot of time ordering our robot parts, and to Mrs. Pothos for providing the photos for today’s blog.

Build Update- Day 26

It is now day 26 of build season, and we have a little less than 3 weeks left. Today was mostly spent assembling the drive train of the robot. The gearboxes, wheels, and most of the electronics are now on the practice robot. At this point, our drivetrain is about 50 pounds. In addition, the new flatter nuts for the elevator arrived and were switched out on the elevator. The other bearings for the elevator will hopefully arrive soon so assembly of the elevator can be finished and it can be mounted on the drive train.


Mentors hard at work

We also had the team meeting discussing the current plan for the climber and possible forklift. We have decided to think about the different possibilities and come back tomorrow for another discussion after dinner. The screenshots of the CAD model shown during the meeting will be included below for further analyzing. Please review them before tomorrow. Note that the CAD model below does not include the intake, which will actuate up and down on the side with the box tubes sticking out of the elevator. Also note the position of the center of gravity (weird floaty thing), although that is calculated without the weight of the intake. Please feel free to throw out any ideas for the climber you may have.

Top View

Side View

Top of Elevator and Climbing Bar

Top View of Robot Side Orientation

Isometric View of Robot Side Orientation

Build Update- Day 25

The laser-cut sheet metal gusset plates from Harvey Vogel were finished and Walter picked them up today. This allows us to begin the construction of our drivetrain and elevator. We mostly worked on assembling the drivetrain today.  The belly pans were bent and put on the drivetrain, along with the other gussets.

We also machined the mounting box tube for the motors actuating the elevator. The rest of the parts for the elevator have been ordered and should arrive soon. In addition, the awards team continued their work on filming interviews for Chairman’s and have now started editing the video.

We will be having a team meeting tomorrow at the shop at 6:45 pm, after dinner, to discuss our current plan for climbing and how we should proceed with that plan.

Build Update – Day 24

Our order of laser cut aluminum from Harvey Vogel was delayed, so we spent most of today planning. Trevor and Sharon did some calculations to figure out the ideal gear reduction for the elevator as well as the climber, and assembled gearboxes for them. Samuel made some modifications to the intake design, so we should be able to begin manufacturing parts in the coming days. With some unforeseen concerns about intake actuation, Anna made a quick sketch of the dimensions in CAD. As it turns out, there was nothing to worry about. Ben Haland began manufacturing final climbing hooks, as well as planning out the arm for them to mount to. The Harvey Vogel parts are predicted to be cut tomorrow. Once those are done, we can assemble both drive trains and elevator for the practice robot. Things are looking promising.

Build Update- Day 22

We were able to begin assembling the elevator today after all the necessary spacers were made and adjusted/sanded down for the correct clearance. Due to the annoying process of making so many spacers that all needed to be precise, we have started 3D printing the next set of spacers, which will be easier and more precise. The stages on the elevator roll very nicely and the clearance designed for the bearings is almost perfect. In addition, the joint blocks made for the elevator corners are very sturdy. From now on, we will be working on a method to actuate the elevator using chains and pulleys, along with finding ways to improve the design for the second elevator

The awards team also began filming interviews today for the Chairman’s video. Thanks to everyone who was interviewed and to the great awards team working hard to write essays and film.


Build Update- Day 20

Day 20 was spent mostly working on machining parts for the elevator and prototyping for the forklift. All the box tube pieces for the first elevator are now finished, and we are making good progress on the 40 standoffs/spacers necessary for the design. Assembly of the corner joints / bearing blocks will begin tomorrow after the spacers needed to correct the bearing placement arrive.

Polycarbonate gusset plates for prototyping were added to the forklift design and tested. There is a link below showing Walter standing on the forklift. We’ll be working more on making the design stronger and reducing stress points, along with getting the geometry and measurements of the design correct.

Fork Lift Testing

The “bridge tube” design for the drive base will be machined by Phillips Medisize tomorrow. In addition, the sheet metal parts for the drive base and elevator supports were sent out to Harvey Vogel yesterday and should be machined soon.

Good work everybody, keep it up! We’re making good progress on the robot.

Build Update- Day 18

The shop was closed yesterday due to a snow day, so we had a lot of work to be done in the shop tonight. Our aluminum stock arrived, and we have started to machine the elevator parts (props to Walter and Jack)! The CAD team has been hard at work modeling the belly pan and working with the electronics team to figure out layout ideas. The CAD team also spent most of the night putting together drawings for the builders. Prototyping is still going on to design a ramp for climbing with other bots. Some work is also being done on our new tool chest and tonight we finished another foam cutout for our tools.

Build Update- Day 16

The robot layout is mostly decided upon. The distance from the front frame rail to the front of the elevator is seventeen inches. We have decided on combining the two intakes, the 2015 style intake and the roller bar intake. We are hoping the intake will be around ten pounds, and we’re still deciding over what the roller bar will be made out of. The prototype for the intake actuator was successful and it uses dual pistons so we can have two positions for the intake and surgical tubing to assist actuation. We also discussed our climbing priorities list which is:

  1. Climb from front of bar
  2. Climb from side  of bar
  3. Multiple hooks for different climbing orientations
  4. Lowest priority = picking someone else up / forklift